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Masterplan requires consideration

Featherston spatial plan proposes two options for the train station. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND

Should the Featherston train station move to the town centre or stay where it is? With two options for Featherston’s growth out for informal consultation, EMILY IRELAND looks at amenities and infrastructure.

A major concern regarding increased population in any district is whether there is sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the growth.

Featherston is no exception, with an estimated 1730 new residents expected over the next 30 years.

South Wairarapa District Council’s early engagement with stakeholders showed that the local sports hub, swimming pool, and other amenities such as the library were important attributes and made Featherston an attractive place to live.

But there are concerns about the adequacy of water infrastructure, flooding, street lighting, the state of footpaths, and the safety, look, and function of the main street.

Top of mind for South Wairarapa District Council is Featherston’s wastewater treatment plant.

Although it was designed with a capacity to serve a population of about 5000 people, it is running on an expired consent because it does not operate efficiently or sustainably to meet new freshwater standards.

The council is progressing a short-term consent with its water services partner Wellington Water.

A long-term solution is yet to be determined to improve environmental quality and allow for additional growth in Featherston.

When the council was preparing the Wairarapa Spatial Plan Residential Growth Options, it sought advice from Wellington Water [in which the council is a shareholder] on the capacity and servicing of growth for water, wastewater, and stormwater.

Wellington Water advised them that the planned initiatives would mean that the upgraded wastewater infrastructure would meet the future growth needs identified in the masterplan.

Water supply was also deemed to meet future growth, with a fourth bore at the Waiohine Water Treatment Plant being installed to increase production.

Wellington Water had also assessed that stormwater could be reasonably managed in Featherston, using typical development controls and infrastructure upgrades, noting that water comes off the hills and that some remedial work is needed at certain intersections.

In terms of educational facilities, Featherston has three primary schools.

Featherston School and Saint Teresa’s School are located within the township, while South Featherston School is located about 2.5km from Featherston township.

Kuranui College is the only secondary school in the district and is located in Greytown.

The schools have seen stability and an overall general increase in roll numbers over the past three years.

This shows the attractiveness of Featherston as a place for families to live, and account has been taken of this in terms of enabling housing choice and also taking into consideration the proximity of family homes to schools where walking and cycling can be encouraged.

Feedback on the masterplan options closes on August 19, and then council planners will create the draft masterplan.

Hearings and formal consultation will follow.

The plan is expected to be finalised and implemented next year.

Visit the South Wairarapa District Council website, library, or offices for more information on the survey and to provide feedback.

This is the last of a multi-part series on Featherston’s Master Plan.— NZLDR

  • Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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